Demonstrating their resolve to fight against terrorism and to boost bilateral defence cooperation further, strike infantry units of the Indian and Russian Armies ended a joint military exercise named Ex INDRA-10 in the Kumaon hills here on Saturday.
Over 400 troops from both sides took part in the drill and were divided into two groups. One group consisted of two Indian Army units in addition to one Russian army unit and vice versa.
The exercise was conducted in three phases to improve the interoperability and imbibe lessons at small team levels, levels at which success is imperative to combat terrorism.
During the culmination phase on the last two days, a realistic stimulated joint operational exercise was conducted involving surveillance, acquiring and assessing of intelligence, joint planning, multi-directional induction of forces in small teams maintaining stealth, regrouping into joint task forces and joint teams, followed by a series of counter-terrorist operations.
A Naga regiment of the Mountain Brigade of Central Command Division took part in this exercise along with Russian troops, who were given the responsibility of a cordon and search mission, a search and destroy mission and then a special heliborns operations.
Troops from both sides first carried out a cordon and search operation at Padholi Reserve Forest, followed it up with a search and destroy mission at the nearby Magchura village and concluded with a special heliborns operations at Chokhani Mound.
Major General J S Arya, Group Officer in Command, Six Mountaineering Division, said terrorism has the same format everywhere.
"We both nations have the same problems. You are all aware of the problems of our country. When the Russian troops arrived, we witnessed that they have the same problems," said Major General Arya.
"They told us that in Southern Russia they have similar mountaineering areas and carry out the same exercise. It feels great to see that our training is appropriate and correct," he told media persons here after the joint military drill.
Major General Arya further said that behind every military expedition there is a planning, asserting that all the countries work in close cooperation with each other during the exercise.
"When four or five countries meet to have a combined drill, we actually get to learn a lot from each other. Whatever was our good points, the Russian troops learned that and whatever was the excellent point of the Russians, we learned that. We will use all the good points that we have learnt and see whether we can apply it on our troops," said Major General Arya.
"We have witnessed in the last eight to ten years that terrorism has changed its characteristics. The impact of which has been deeper over the years. There are several areas where the interests of different nations are the same. In the Indian Ocean, the ships of several countries float and have probably the same problems," he added, when asked will both India and Russia participate in any joint exercise in the near future.
Brigadier Gopal, Brigadier 99 Mountaineering Division, said it was a small operation planned jointly by the Russian and the Indian troops to fight against terrorism, where the two sides used fire and power tactics and force multiplier to destroy the hideout in the reserve forest and the terrorists.
"A soldier whether Russian or Indian understands everything. Language is not a barrier. We had our interpreters and they had theirs. A soldier easily understands each others needs," he added, when asked whether language and communication was a barrier to the troops participating in the exercise.
Russian Ambassador Alexander M Kadakin, who was present on the occasion, said keeping into view the fight against terrorism by both the nations, the exercise that has end today is very significant.
"First of all, I am very happy to come to Ranikhet, because the army exercise has ended today, we consider it very significant because, the two countries have been fighting against global terrorism; we are not just friends, but allies too," said Ambassador Kadakin. By Amit Shankar(ANI)